I finally found it… “work” that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, and a vision that keeps me up at night. A perfect marriage for all of my strengths, and fertile ground for all of my challenges. We are now officially 6 months old and I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learned and the map we’ve created for our future.
As a teenager I couldn’t wait to be “grown”… The idea of having total and complete control over my life seemed so appealing and I often fantasized and bragged to my girlfriends about what life would be like when I “grew up…”
By the time my twentieth birthday rolled around I had a high tide, low tide thing happening. Intellectually – my college years were the best of my life. I was learning so much and growing exponentially on almost a daily basis. I was connecting with people who would turn out to be my friends for life. I was learning to navigate life in the big city by elevated train, public transit bus and my trust flats. However I was also knee deep in a bad marriage… hiding behind a dry wall of security and familiarity. A low tide… I watched as the flash flood started to cover my flats and almost knocked me off my feet…
During my twenties I spent a lot of time looking around… I constantly felt like like I had to prove myself… I often felt like an outsider… and my actions were largely shaped based on how they would appear to others.
Shortly after turning 25, I met a guy who told me, “I don’t really want to hear about your problems if you’re not going to do anything about them.” I felt a ball of emotions… initially it was “who does he think he is?” then it is “how come he won’t listen?” and then it was “wait… he’s right.” Before that moment I was in control of every other aspect of my life… I decided to pursue a college education. I decided that I would major in Education. I decided that I move to Chicago… and for whatever reason I had allowed myself to separate the ownership of the reality that (despite my intuition telling me “NO!!!”) I decided to get married at the age of 19, and I was also deciding to stay & be unhappy.
I was a great gardener in my twenties and those seeds were all over the place… It went from starting a brand new school, to a scrapbooking business… to an editing company… to a fast food restaurant… to a political campaign… to nonprofit A… to nonprofit B… I was watering gardens all over the place… some of those gardens grew weeds… some of the crops died… some of the gardens are still standing to this day.
I’ve only been 30 for all of 21 hours now so I haven’t really processed what it means, nor do I have the experience yet to talk about how the thirties are different from the twenties. I do know what I’d like to see in the next decade.
In the next decade I want to spend little to no time looking around, and more time looking in the mirror and more time looking to the sky and bowing my head. I want to compete with and be better than myself. I also want to rely more on God’s promises and seek him more in all things.
I want to do more travel… Intellectually, nothing has matched those four years I spent in college. I believe that if I travel to new places… breath air that I’ve never smelled before… see things I’ve never seen before… I will grow and change just as much as I did in college.
I spent a lot of time pouring foundation during my twenties and watering those gardens. In my thirties I’d like to build… solid brick structures financially, as a property owner and as a change agent. I want all of the structures I build to last my entire lifetime and beyond.
I want to train and share as much of my knowledge & resources as I can. I want to be the reason someone enjoys getting up coming to work each day, I want to help people discover their passion and I want to be a source of positive inspiration and support in the lives of others.
I want to move away from a spirit of entitlement of what I should have and what I am owed… to a spirit of gratitude and fluidity. I want to embrace every lesson good or bad and I want to be so fluid that when faced with challenges I’m never completely broken or permanently down.
I have been blessed with a very good life so far… I have a beautiful home to come home to everyday… I have a loving and supportive spouse and life partner who empowers me… I have “bonus” children who look up to me and who love me and accept me as someone who is important in their lives… I have a career that provides a paycheck every two weeks with good health care… I have a car that starts every time I put the key in… I have a refrigerator full of the type of food I like to eat… I feel blessed to enter into a new decade because so many others aren’t even given a chance to live and I pray that my thoughts, my energy and my time are devoted to the mission and purpose for which my collection of DNA & combination of atoms were sent here to this earth…
The following people are in no particular order but these are the people you should have in your Address Book!
1. An accountant – When you start getting assets, you need someone to help you manage those assets effectively.
2. An attorney - A good attorney can help you fight parking tickets and can help protect your brand, reputation and intellectual property.
3. A make-up artist – I’m not in the make-up artist every day camp yet, but whenever I have a special occasion I have three women I turn to that help me put my best foot forward. I also took some time to learn how to apply my own basic make-up (foundation, brows, eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick/gloss) in the event that my make-up artists aren’t available. Whenever I have a special event I call one of my MUAs!
4. Someone who makes you laugh until your stomach hurts. Sometimes you just need to laugh to keep from crying. There are a couple of people who can make me laugh until it hurts.
5. A good trainer - Health is important and you need a trainer to help you develop a routine! Bonus points if this person is also a nutritionist!
6. A good doctor (especially a good OB-GYN). You need someone who makes you feel comfortable!
7. A father (figure). This person can serve as your protector and can give you that paternal masculine energy when you need it.
8. A mother (figure). - Sometimes you just need an older woman to look out for you, to cheer for you and to give you motherly advice.
9. Someone (or something *giggles*) to make you feel sexy :) If it’s a lover or romantic partner great… If it’s a machine… well that’s fine too. Sometimes you just need to feel SEXY!
10. A good mechanic – Car trouble is inevitable. You need a good mechanic that won’t overcharge you to fix your vehicle and give you routine maintenance.
11. A good general contractor – You don’t really need this until you become a homeowner, but someone to fix the plumbing and do other work around the house is important. We have someone who can do it all, gutters, cabinets, doors, you name it and he is VITAL in our lives.
12. A realist (or a pessimist). You need a trouble-shooter. The person you can call to talk you down off a ledge, to help you figure out what could go wrong and to make you approach a situation to be more prepared. This is particularly true if you are an optimist or dreamer.
13. An optimist. This is your cheerleader. The person who gives you the courage and the permission to just DO IT! You need this person desperately if you’re a realist or pessimist.
14. A good editor. Someone who can help you put your best foot forward on paper.
15. A public speaking expert/coach. We can all brush up on our presenting/public speaking skills. Bonus points if you know someone who can do a mock speech/mock interview with you before your time in the spotlight!
16. A ride or die friend. I have a couple of these! My girls will put on gym shoes and take off their earrings if it came down to it. They answer their phone no matter the time of day. I can tell them ANYTHING without being judged. My ride or die friends were even in the delivery room when I miscarried and gave birth to my angel-baby. They saw it all! NOTHING shocks them and it is so good to know that I have people like them in my life.
17. A professional mentor. You MUST have access to someone who has more knowledge and experience than you in your industry that you are not in direct competition with. You will learn so much from this individual!
18. A spiritual leader/guru. This should have been number one on the list, but who is your prayer warrior? Your life-speaker? The person who can look at you crazy when you stray too far away from your values.
19. A big sister figure. Someone that is a little older than you that you can share jokes and general life tips with. They are too young to be your friend and too old to be your mom.
20. A mentee. We have to start training the next generation of leaders and strong women. If you’re in your twenties or older, you should have someone younger than you that you are helping to develop. It could be a family member or another young woman who would benefit from spending time with and learning from you.
*Uncrumpling My Speech* I am happy to be the recipient of a Sunshine Blogger Award! My best soror forever and friend Kandice (unprompted) nominated me. This award is a peer-to-peer honor where bloggers publicly recognize other bloggers who spread sunshine and motivation! So honored and humbled to be thought of for this. Analog Girl was born on April 14, 2010! I’ve always been an open book because I believe that when you’re open, you release a lot and learn a lot.
These are the rules:
* Reference and link to the person who nominated you!
*List 11 things you don’t know about me
*Answer 11 questions asked of me (in this case, I will using the ones from Kandice’s Blog)
* Nominate other bloggers
Here we go!!!
11 Things you don’t know about me
1. I’m not from Chicago. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida, spent the ages of 3 – 14 in Kansas City, Missouri and the ages of 15 – 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I moved to Chicago at the age of 18 to attend DePaul University and never left because Chicago is where I became a woman!
2. I used to do performance poetry. When I was in High School, I used to do shows under the pen name “Metaphor,” and thought I wanted to be a professional poet when I grew up.
3. I rescued a baby bird when I was about 6 or 7. Walked out of the house and saw him laying on the ground barely flapping his (or her?) wings. I put it inside one of those Old School orange pumpkin baskets, filled it with grass, would feed it water & go hunt for worms for it everyday, and it got better. After about two weeks, I took it into the woods and watched it fly off healthy. At my core I’m a nurturer and I rarely see people or things broken, and leave them that way…
4. My first job was illegally obtained at McDonalds. I started working illegally at McDonald’s at the age of 12 (in 7th grade!). They thought I was 14. I worked there for 2 years before moving to Minnesota.
5. I used to want to be a back up dancer. My cousins and I loved to make up dance routines when we were growing up. We would watch music videos and try to learn and perform the dances.
6. I was a pyromaniac when I was younger. I used to enjoy taking a can of hair spray and lighting a fire to it, creating an instant blow torch lol.
7. My favorite cousin and I built a tree-house complete with carpet and planned to move in there. I vividly remember us going around the neighborhood to collect wood and materials for our “house.” We create a full floor with chicken wire, laid carpet on top of it (and you could actually walk across or lay across the floor lol). We talked about getting a cable wire ran into it and a phone line. And then it rained and ruined everything… We hadn’t thought about the “roof” lol!
8. I heard that Venus & Serena are my distant cousins. I don’t know how true that is, but we do share a family name LOL! One of my cousins in Oakland worked security for MC Hammer back in the day when he was hot.
9. My great great great grandfather Syrus Williams was born a slave, eventually purchased his freedom and had over 23 children. The land he purchased in Happy Bend, Arkansas (near Morrilton which is Central Arkansas) is still owned and farmed by people in my family.
10. I’m an only child…. who is NOT spoiled and is NOT a brat.
11. I’m terrified of bees. Had a couple of near death experiences because once on a date, I ran my fully clothed body into a Lake in Minnesota to get away from a bunch of bees and once while in traffic, hopped out of the car at a stop sign because there was a bee in the car. I try to be more classy about my exit strategy now but you will hear a squeal if you’re near me if a bee is around. I was told once that I was allergic to bees and was stung as a baby and my whole body was swollen, so I only had to be told once as a young person and now I just get out of the way because I have no interest in seeing what would happen if I get stung!
11 questions answered…..
1. What is the first thing you do as soon as you wake up in the morning? Roll over and play crickets with my husband. We then do a “countdown” to get out of bed.
2. What is your greatest fear? Not being able to give birth to a healthy baby of my own…
3. Do you have a new years resolution for 2014? Transition full-time into Executive Director of Donda’s House Inc.
4. What is your favorite song at the moment? Its a tie between “Partition” by Beyonce and “Flawless” by Beyonce
5. What is your favorite childhood memory? Rollerskating at the Skating Rink (aka “Skateland” in Grandview, MO) every Saturday from 1 – 4 pm or 7 – 11 pm with my cousins.
6. Facebook or Twitter? Both… I manage several Facebook & Twitter accounts so I’m ALWAYS on both promoting the respective brands and organizations.
7. What did the last text message you received say? A message saying “Due to the extreme weather conditions, the ARK will be closed tomorrow and we are planning to reopen on Tuesday, stay warm.” The ARK is our community partner for Donda’s House.
8. What bugs you the most? Being late… In my mind early is on time. It gives me soo much anxiety to be on time (or late).
9. What do you consider to be the most important appliance in your house? Dishwasher. It has added so many minutes to my life!
10. If you could have one song that would play whenever you entered a room, what would it be? The chorus of Foxy Brown’s “Big Bad Mama.”
11. What’s your favorite movie quote? Darius Lovehall’s quote from Love Jones. When that movie came out I was a little philosopher so I loved that film: “Romance is about the possibility of the thing. You see, it’s about the time between when you first meet the woman, and when you first make love to her; When you first ask a woman to marry you, and when she says I do. When people who been together a long time say that the romance is gone, what they’re really saying is they’ve exhausted the possibility.”
And the nominations go to…
Life Your Way: http://life.yourway.net
Urban Mommy Inc: http://urbanmommyinc.com
Simple Honest Goodness: http://www.simplehonestgoodness.blogspot.com
Living A Resilient Life: http://comebackkid83.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading!!! Tomorrow we get back to our #worthythirty routine with 20 people you need in your life.
So for today’s #worthythirty post, I’m talking about what I know about love! Here it goes…
#1 You can love someone who doesn’t love you back. If this happens to you can decide to continue loving that person from a distance or you can find someone who loves you equally. The truth of the matter is that love is not always reciprocated.
#2 You can have more than one love in a lifetime. Remind me to tell you the story about my High School sweetheart C.D. (trying to protect his innocence lol, but if you went to High School with me YOU KNOW who I’m talking about). I loved him deeply, passionately and madly. He broke my heart when I found out that he had gotten another girl pregnant while dating me… Needless to say I DID live to see another day and eventually I found another love. I still have those positive memories about C.D…
#3 Sex is the quickest way to confuse your love meter. It’s a scientific fact. Q-Tip had it right when he said “Kissed my cheek, moved in, you confused things…” Sex may make you feel or see something there that isn’t. Sex may make you stay somewhere where you shouldn’t. It’s hard to think clearly once you’ve exchanged bodily fluids with someone!
#4 There are different types of love. There is romantic love. There is platonic love. There is paternal & maternal love. The list goes on and on.
#5 Self love is the foundation of healthy love. If you love yourself, you maintain certain standards. If you have low self-esteem or confidence, it makes it easy for others to take advantage of you.
#6 No one can leave when they don’t want to leave or stay where they don’t want to stay. This goes to all of the people who are “side chicks” or “creeps.” If she can ONLY text you, that’s a problem! If he is soooo unhappy at home… then he could leave. This is one of the best lessons my husband taught me. When we got together we were both with other people. One day he told me “I don’t want to hear about your bad relationship if you’re not going to do anything about it.” I just needed a reminder that I was MAKING A CHOICE to be in a bad situation! Don’t allow yourself to be used or strung along by someone making empty promises.
#7 Individuals committed to each other define their own norms. You decide the norms for your relationship. There are some people who couldn’t stand the idea of a large portion of their relationship being long distance – they could never date someone who had to travel for work or who was in the military. For some couples that is the norm. Some couple share the household duties while others are pretty traditional in their approach. Remember that what works for other couples may not work for you and your partner. You determine the rules.
#8 Success attracts distractions. Whenever you “get your swagger” back or whenever you’re knee deep in a healthy relationship, they come a-running lol. It seems like everything I was in a good relationship a blast from the past would finally come to his senses and contact me. Too little, too late. When you’re successful in your career or you have a healthy social life, you ooze confidence, positivity and happiness and it smells like pie to the outside world.
#9 You teach people how to treat (or mistreat) you. You have to have standards and demand a certain level of respect. If someone keeps doing something bad to you, it is because you are giving them permission to…
#10 The best relationships require the most work. Good relationships require constant communication, negotiation and compromise.
#11 Having a baby is never a solution to saving a broken relationship neither is having sex. If your relationship is crappy, having a baby will only make the crap explode. Having a baby should be a mutual decision! The same thing with sex. Good sex does not equal a good relationship. If that’s all you have, then it’s not really a relationship, it’s something else.
#12 Communicate from your own feelings and thoughts. Use I statements… You have the right to feel and to think and to express those feelings and thoughts to your partner.
#13 People express love differently. Communicate your needs and preferences and don’t assume the other person knows them. What do you like? What do you need? If you feel like your partner is not paying enough attention to you… TELL HIM OR HER! Sometimes we get frustrated because we communicate our feelings non-verbally eye rolls, faint voice, full-out tantrum, but if we don’t communicate THE SOURCE of our feelings, it’s just wasted energy and it is not fair to our partners.
#14 Love is a choice that requires two committed partners. Love is a choice… Love is a choice… It is a choice that BOTH parties have to make… If one person decides to stop showing love… the other party has to respond accordingly. We can say what we want about Gabby Union & D. Wade but they both have made a choice to keep loving each other…
#15 Time is the most important gift you have. Diamonds are nice… flowers are nice… but time… undivided, uninterrupted time is the most precious thing you can give another person.
#16 Sacrifice is the ultimate expression of love. Sacrifice is the opposite of selfishness. Sacrifice means giving something up, repressing something, sharing something with another being. When I think of sacrifice I think of Jesus, which is why sacrifice is the ultimate expression of love.
#17 There are ups and downs in a relationship but there should be more ups than downs. If you are more unhappy than happy in your relationship, you should re-evaluate things.
#18 Trust your instincts, they are rarely wrong. Pretty self explanatory. My instincts are usually 99.9999999999995% correct. I’m sure that is the same for most people.
#19 Pay attention to your patterns. Think about the last three people you’ve dated and make a list of what they have in common. I’d bet money that there are so many similarities it may scare you. We all have a type and for better or for worse, it is important to be conscious of that.
#20 Give the type of love you want to receive. I’ll never forget the first time I gave my husband a foot massage. It was when we were dating and he told me he’d never had a full foot rub from a romantic partner like that. I was flabbergasted! This foot massage is a regular part of our routine. Shortly after that foot massage I started getting these AMAZING foot massages from him. He told me he wanted to make me feel as good as I made him feel. I say all of that to say… GIVE the type of love you want to receive. Give the type of affection you want to experience. Say the type of things you want to hear. In a healthy relationship, your partner will mirror you…
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my #worthythirty list. We’re inching to a new decade and I’m happy to share all I’ve learned so far!
I used to hate to use this word because I always felt guilty. I started feeling like people were taking advantage of my kindness and vulnerability and at about 25 years old started making it a point to make “no” a regular part of my vocabulary. I read a quite that said “no is a complete sentence” and I couldn’t agree more.
2. Let me check my calendar.
People will impose on you if you allow them to. This simple phrase is reminder to self and to the world that you control your time and you don’t have to bullied into spending your time in a way that you don’t want to. This also buys you more time to consider if you actually WANT to do something.
This word pops up on the iPhone and it is wonderful because it allows you to screen your calls. Don’t feel like you have to answer every call.
How many times have you built up resentment and gotten frustrated because you felt like you were by yourself? People can’t read your mind. Ask a specific individual for help on specific tasks.
5. I’ll wait.
This is a public speaking tool. As a teacher sometimes my students lose focus. Rather than scream at the top of my lungs I calmly use this phrase and eventually, the students “tune in.” I’m sure this could work for parents too!
6. No, thank you.
This is the real-time face-to-face version of “decline.” It’s polite, short and sweet.
7. Do you have a budget?
If you’re an entrepreneur, especially in the beginning of your career, people will assume that your services are free or they may expect you to donate your services. That should be a choice. At least by asking about a budget you can get the conversation started about compensation in a professional manner.
8. I do & I will
Two words that I said on my wedding day to my husband. It was a lifetime commitment that we made to each other and I am so grateful that we chose each other. I honestly still remember our wedding day so vividly. It was one of the best days of my life!
It’s easy to get into complaint mode. To talk about what is not happening. Some people weave blankets of problems and challenges and then wrap themselves in it. I try to be the person in the room that not only recognizes the problem but that proposes and encourages others to determine solutions.
10. Can I?
This is the opposite of “can you” and is a good way to gain control of a situation. Can I leave? Can I say something? it’s less accusatory.
11. I feel & I think
These go along with “can I” and they are great to take ownership of your feelings. In the same breath, no one can tell you how to feel or what to think. Making “I Statements” is one tool in the healthy communication and conflict mediation toolbox that I use often.
What are your priorities? Once you determine those it becomes very easy to make decisions about your personal, professional and social life.
This was my word of the year in 2012 and it motivated me to be results-oriented and intentional about everything.
This was my word of the year in 2013 and it was a spiritual reminder to let go and let God. Surrender is the ultimate expression of faith and trust.
15. Incompetent Cervix
Two words. A condition that made me miscarry at 5 months pregnant. A condition that was caused by a rape at the age of 12 and that made me a mommy to an angel. I will never forget my baby girl and my first born. Her heartbeat will always be an invisible song in my heart!
Memories are important to me. Even more important is preserving those memories. My legacy lives in my scrapbooks. They are evidence of the life I live and the person I am.
Sometimes all people need is access. That is the word I keep at the forefront of my work as director of my organization.
I love being a wife. I love to nurture my husband, to laugh with him and to challenge him to be better. I love to dream with him, at times to cry with (and sometimes on) him, and I love to win with him. I also love all of love, support, laughter, advice and happiness I receive as a wife.
It’s my goal. I’m talking Warren Buffet, Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Madame CJ Walker status. Not on some selfish materialistic stuff, but I want to be able to employ good people, leave a legacy and trust funds for my kids and future grand kids, and change the world.
This is my word for 2014. I want to ooze influence. I want my name, my word, my taste and my experience to have value.
This is day 2 of #worthythirty! Be sure to check back in tomorrow!